Why an Energy-Efficient Residence Can Affect Air Quality and How to Enhance It

Homes today are built with energy efficiency in mind. This entails extra insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy bills reasonable. While this is positive for your heating and cooling costs, it’s not so great for your indoor air quality.

Since air has fewer chances to escape, pollutants can build up and impact your residence’s indoor air quality. In actuality, your home’s air can actually be 2–5 times more unhealthy than the outdoors, according to the EPA. That’s not good for anyone, but it’s particularly detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

Let’s review some of these everyday substances and how you can enhance your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that impact your air quality are common items. These things include chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They involve:

  1. Cleaning products, like aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, such as hairspray, perfume and nail products.
  3. Candles and air fresheners.
  4. Formaldehyde, which is commonly used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, particularly when they’re brand new.
  6. Paints and stains.

Other common pollutants include:

  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Mold

Symptoms of VOC Exposure

Some people are more affected by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

  • Irritated eyes, nose or throat
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

In severe cases, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t difficult to boost your house’s air quality. Here are a couple of suggestions from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Residence Regularly

Frequently cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, like furniture, carpet and bedding, will help decrease on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your house.

2. Frequently Switch Your Air Filter

This important filter keeps your house comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you have. Flat filters should be replaced each month, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be changed, take it out and tilt it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your residence has allergies or asthma, we suggest installing a filter with a higher MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at removing contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also recommend turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen regularly to remove pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers to HEPA filters, TML Service Experts has a resolution to help your family breathe more freely. We’ll help you select the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 208-488-4892 to schedule yours right away!

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